is The Texas Tribune's managing editor and joined the staff when the online publication launched in 2009. In addition to editing duties, Grissom leads the Tribune's coverage of criminal justice issues. During her tenure at the Tribune, she was chosen as a 2012 City University of New York Center on Media, Crime and Justice/H.F. Guggenheim Journalism Fellow and was a fellow at the 2012 Journalist Law School at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Grissom, along with Tribune multimedia producer Justin Dehn, received a 2012 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting for work on the case of Megan Winfrey, who was acquitted of murder in February 2013 after the Trib’s coverage brought statewide attention the case. Grissom joined the Tribune after four years at the El Paso Times, where she acted as a one-woman Capitol bureau. Grissom won the Associated Press Managing Editors First-Place Award in 2007 for using the Freedom of Information Act to report stories on a variety of government programs and entities, and the ACLU of Texas named her legislative reporter of the year in 2007 for her immigration reporting. She previously served as managing editor at The Daily Texan and has worked for the Alliance Times-Herald, the Taylor Daily Press, the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung and The Associated Press. A native of Alliance, Neb., she has a degree in history from the University of Texas.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard testimony Wednesday in a case that could have far-reaching ramifications for criminal justice nationally. Lawyers for Henry “Hank” Skinner maintain that the Texas death row inmate has a civil right to access DNA evidence that could exonerate him in the 1993 murders of his live-in girlfriend and her two sons. Lawyers for the state argue that Skinner exhausted his opportunity to analyze potentially exculpatory evidence when his defense team declined to request testing at his original trial, fearing that the results might be incriminating.
Fifteen years ago Judge Charlie Baird was one of the justices on the state’s highest criminal court who reaffirmed Cameron Todd Willingham’s death sentence. On Wednesday, Baird is scheduled to begin a process that could determine whether that conviction and Willingham’s execution were wrong. And the prosecution objects.
by Brandi Grissom and Matt Stiles, The Texas Tribune and John Tedesco, San Antonio Express-News 8
When the state's concealed handgun statute was approved 15 years ago, lawmakers argued it would help citizens defend themselves — but residents of low-income, largely Democratic nieghborhoods aren't applying for gun permits as often as those in wealthier, more-conservative areas, according to a Texas Tribune/San Antonio Express-News analysis.
by Brandi Grissom and Matt Stiles, The Texas Tribune and John Tedesco, San Antonio Express-News 12
In the two years since Barack Obama was elected president, many Texas gun owners — afraid of losing their Second Amendment rights — have stocked up on weapons and ammo. Texans have also sought a record number of concealed handgun licenses. Coincidence?
The executive director of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition on how criminal justice austerity measures demanded by state leaders would affect Texas prisons, poor people accused of crimes and the counties responsible for overseeing overcrowded jails.
A judge in Nueces County today dismissed a criminal indictment against Texas Commission on Jail Standards Executive Director Adan Muñoz, who was charged in connection with his release of information about a jailhouse suicide. Open government advocates have called the indictment outrageous.
The Innocence Project of Texas will launch a campaign today not only to exonerate Sonia Cacy, a woman who experts say was wrongly convicted of setting fire to her uncle, but also to overhaul of the use of "junk science" in the prosecution of criminal cases.
Across Texas, defendants charged with misdemeanor offenses are choosing to spend time in the local lockup rather than endure months on probation. They don’t want to deal with the hassle of probation's conditions, and they can’t afford the thousands of dollars in fees that it requires. People on both sides of the criminal justice system agree that the trend is troubling: It’s helping to fill local jails beyond capacity, and even worse, it means that people charged with DWI, possession of small amounts of drugs and family violence are not getting the treatment they need.